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Lots of mini-type reviews this month. As usual, they have backed up on the desk. The result? We bring you only the best of the best, as usual.

Ceol Sidhe features Steve Cooney, Charlie Lennon, and Michael Hynes on guitar, fiddle and concertina, respectively. There are 19 cuts on the album, each more brilliant than the other. Believe it or not, there are only two sets of reels! This album is adults playing Irish music. Perfectly. Not 305mph, like so many of today's children. If you love Irish traditional music, this is the perfect instrumental album. We know Copperplate in London has it.

Fiddle & Flute is by Blayne Chastain, Natalie Padilla, and Peter Romero. Another all-instrumental treat from this trio of flute, fiddle, and piano. Denver, Colorado? Who knew? A great album from really tasty musicians.

 

The Two Tap Trio is Nora Rendell on vocals and flute, Brian Miller on guitar, and Nathan Gourley on fiddle. The album’s title is A Night at the Fair. What a stunning piece of business from these Minnesota-based musicians. We get several albums a year that we just keep listening to, and this is one of them. This group is getting a lot of work and it is not hard to see why. Terrific.

 

The Morning Star is an absolutely stunning all-instrumental album from Marla Fibish and Jimmy Crowley. On the album, Marla plays mandolin and mandola. Jimmy is on bouzouki, dordan, mandolin, and mandocello. Apparently, the creative aim of the album was to let you hear what a number of the great tunes of Celtic music would sound like with only two stringed instruments being perfectly played. Or something. We are never sure about what musicians are trying to express artistically in an album, and we quite frankly don’t care. What we do care about is whether the album is fun to listen to, and played well. This album is both. These are two really superior musicians flexing their artistic muscles and giving us a rare treat. And, it is different. With just the two instruments, the melodies really stand out, and are gorgeous. A thorough winner.

 

Cathal Clohessy and Eamonn Costello are out with Bosca Ceoil & Fiddle. We know this one is also available from Copperplate in London, as it was they who brought it to our attention. We assume our pal, Jack Baker at Rampant Lion would also be able to get it. This all-instrumental treat of 14 cuts is only for the dyed-in-the-wool, honest-to-heavens trad fan. But if that describes you, this is a great piece of business that you will love. A lot of the tunes are rare treats to be recorded and recorded perfectly. We cannot urge this album upon the real trad fan highly enough. A must-have.

 

We feel that the next two albums we’re going to tell you about should be considered under one umbrella. Full Set is a brilliant-AND WE MEAN BRILLIANT-new group out of Ireland. The album is Notes at Liberty. It is vocal/instrumental at the highest level of the music. Sean McCarthy is on uilleann pipes, Michael Harrison on fiddle, Janine Redmond on button accordion, Teresa Horgan with flute and vocals, Eamonn Moloney on bodhran and Andrew Meaney on guitar. The two new groups that have really blown us out of the water lately are Outside Track, and now Full Set. Stunning. It can be argued that Outside Track is the hottest thing in traditional music right now.  Full Set will soon join them. They’re young, gifted, and understanding of the music far beyond their years. As we grow older, it becomes increasingly easy to dislike people like this. Unless, they’re this good. And, they are this good. Simultaneous with the release of Notes at Liberty is piper Sean McCarthy’s Halcyon Days. Of course, this features Sean playing his pipes and low whistles. He is joined by Fergal Scahill and Conal Early on guitars. What a brilliant solo and first album this is. We don’t know how young Sean is. We don’t want to even contemplate that. What does keep us up at night is how he got this good this young. Halcyon Days establishes Sean McCarthy in that small, but select group of the very best  world-class uilleann pipers. Stunning. Did we already say that? No matter. It is.

 

Hope you are tuning in every Monday night at 8 o’clock Chicago time for Ireland Tonight, WDCB 90.9 FM and www.wdcb.org for our weekly show of real Irish Music. And, visit our website www.irelandtonight.com and Facebook, Ireland Tonight. Like us! We want you part of the party! Traditional. All the way!

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Comment by eiresonia on September 10, 2011 at 15:20

I'm a follow frecuently your months post  and you know..he.Well,and last monday I was listened your recomendations and your program on chicago radio....ok,sorry about my last post i was read again and sorry for my english too,and if I can be clear,what I was mean then,'s i was touched sensitive about your words and the music were listened...then i was try to say ,after listened 1 of  your collegues were  talk about hw proximetly it's the 11/9...incredible pass allready 10 years.......y were more and more sensitive,and Iwas emotive crying and Then I think,its when alll words coming to my head and emotions wasn't left me transmit right what i really mean...so here,alls were listened the program we like to remember that how change and shock universal lifes everywhere and how world can move againts terrorims ,,and may b,I wasnt lost family  or friends in NY.,but any body cant forget that they were relatives and then were lost yes in 7 july in london my  father in low and many friendss,and then for more shock and like turtles race were seems everything its imposible to handle and make cue and more gaps than helps many relatives and friends were lost in madrid too then..so exactly what were mean is please all world !!!!remembering at least for a minute,eveywhere of world,stop whatever everyone b doing and take asomeones hands and like a big big wall of people  around wall with the love were feel for that people were shock our lifes take in silence the >world ,stop,horld on each,and even if u wont pray at least remember!!!!........my personal way ,the next sunday after a act changes world,hope all my listeners ,i hope find from around people to the act araound the wall were i come from,so outside...we do like a people wall..then take the silence and act for everyone wont forget!!!and LOVE,LOVE,LOVE MUST SURVIVE!!!B THE CURE!!!LOVE IS THE KEY!!

thats all,thanks let me explain,and only say, keep going with ur  music and bands recomendations>lovely.....and many LOVE,SPRAITE LOVE AROUND WORLD LOVE AND MUSIC AND THE DANCE OF OUR HEARST RE UNIVERSALS!!!so much hopeless everyboddy!!take very good care!!! 

Comment by Imelda on September 5, 2011 at 19:27
Labor Day in the US. Bill Margeson pays musical tribute to working folks everywhere. Ireland Tonight. Mondays at 8pm Chicago time. WDCB 90.9fm or streaming @ www.wdcb.org.
Comment by Imelda on August 22, 2011 at 2:40

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US Irish Fest was excellent! Bill, Maryann, his radio co-host, and I attended all weekend.

Check out pictures on www.irelandtonight.com

Comment by Imelda on August 16, 2011 at 4:55

If you liked Bill's radio broadcast, or even if you missed it, you can share in some of the fun!  Check out the photos here:  http://irelandtonight.com/Studio_Guests_Live_.html and join the facebook page here http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ireland-Tonight/205831936128208

Comment by Bill Margeson on August 15, 2011 at 21:16
Thank YOU Niamh!
Comment by Bill Margeson on August 15, 2011 at 21:12
@Daithi: He certainly DOES know his music, and far better than you! Otherwise, why are you paying him this outrageous amount of money annually?
Comment by Bill Margeson on August 15, 2011 at 21:11
Good going, Paul! It is a really clean and beautiful piece of music. Excellent musicians, and you really get to hear the tunes themselves. Not overproduced. Perfect.
Comment by Niamh on August 15, 2011 at 21:08
Thanks Bill!
Comment by Imelda on August 15, 2011 at 21:05

@Daithi--Yes he does know his music!

 

Comment by Paul O'Brien on August 15, 2011 at 20:45
Bought The Morning Star on Amazon just now. Looking forward to it.

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